Curlers cap golden season with tour championship
Curling: Okotoks' Ardiel, Morrison on top in Edmonton
Wednesday, Apr 16, 2014 06:00 am
It’s safe to say this foursome had the Midas touch on the ice from start to finish this season.
Okotoks’ Taylor Ardiel, Kyle Morrison and Team Lautner capped off a season to remember by sweeping to top-spot at the Alberta Junior Curling Tour Players’ Championship, Sunday in Edmonton.
“Once we found out what each person was like we started to click,” said Morrison. “It really comes down to four guys that wanted to succeed and when you put that together with the skill that’s on our team we had all the tools to succeed. We put them together in the right order and managed to do a lot more this season than was expected of us.
“It was a pretty dream season.”
Team Lautner, with Carter Lautner at skip, Ardiel at third, David Aho at second and Morrison at lead, had its championship dreams looking bleak in the semifinals.
The Calgary rink found itself down 5-1 after five-ends to Dawson Creek’s Daylan Vavrek only to bounce back with five unanswered to win 6-5 in an extra-end.
“That was a big comeback win,” Ardiel said. “We thought we were down and out at the fourth end break and somehow managed to tough it out and put a good four ends together to tie the game and an extra one to cap it all off.”
Lautner, which ousted the Harty boys of Colin and Jeremy from Nanton and Michael Roy from Airdrie to qualify for the playoffs, defeated Roy again 4-3 in the eighth end with hammer in the championship final.
“Mike ended up stealing one on a measurement so we were tied (after seven ends) which is not a bad scenario, just score a point, that’s all we need,” Ardiel said. “It wasn’t a really difficult (winning) shot, we knew the ice was going to run straight in that spot so we put the broom down where we wanted to tap the rock and swept it the whole way with tee-line weight and tapped it right to the pin.”
A precision shot to match a precision season.
All Team Lautner did in 2013-14 was win, no matter what. The Glencoe Curling Club rink won the provincial gold medal, were bronze medallists at nationals, finished at the apex of the tour standings and money list and closed out the prolific campaign with the tour championship.
“It’s a nice way to finish it off,” Ardiel said. “We can say we know we weren’t a flash in the pan team as four throw togethers. I think we made a semifinal of almost every bonspiel we were in.
“To come home with bronze medals from nationals and now this on top of it, it’s that final cherry on top that says we finally did it and a great end to Carter and I for our Junior careers.”
The ’spiel likely marked the last time the squad will curl together as the back-end of Lautner and Ardiel graduate from the Junior ranks. A possibility the team took in stride on Sunday.
“It was just a fun game to be out on the ice, we were joking with the other team (Roy) and enjoying being out on the ice with everybody,” said Morrison. “There were three or four ageing out this year so that was their last competitive Junior game and likely the last time the four of us and the four of them will ever be on the same team together.”